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Archived Status Reports

2009-2010

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February 18, 2011

At this time there are no reports of red tide anywhere along the Texas coast. To report a suspected red tide, please call your local TPWD office or the TPWD Kills and Spills Team at 361-825-3244. Outside of normal business hours you may call TPWD's 24-hour communications centers at 512-389-4848 or 281-842-8100.

February 5, 2010

No discolored water or fish kills have been reported from Corpus Christi Bay this week. Biologists are cautiously optimistic that the bloom is on the decline. The Imaging Flow CytoBot has captured images of a Myrionecta rubra bloom coming through the pass at Port Aransas. This ciliated organism has not been associated with toxicity, though it can cause crashes in dissolved oxygen.

January 29, 2010

The Texas Department of State Health Services continued their red tide monitoring this week. No red tide was found at Clem’s Marina or at two of the three sampling sites in Nueces Bay. Low concentrations of red tide were found at the Nueces Bay boat launch, the Corpus Christi marina and the breakwater near the Harbor Bridge. No impacts have been reported in association with this bloom in four weeks.

January 27, 2010

TAMU’s Imaging Flow CytoBot is finding low cell concentrations of K. brevis cells in this week’s imagery. However, no new fish kills have been attributed to red tide since the beginning of the year.

January 22, 2010

No cells have been seen this week in images taken by the Imaging Flow CytoBot. DSHS monitored Corpus Christi Bay this week, finding no cells at either the Packery Channel Boat Launch or the Port Aransas jetties. Low concentrations of red tide were found at Ingleside on the Bay and moderate numbers were seen at the Corpus Christi Marina.

January 8, 2010

Staff of the Texas Department of State Health Services continued their shellfish monitoring this week, finding low cell concentrations at the University of Texas pier, Ingleside-on-the-Bay, and the Packery Channel boat launch. One site, Redfish Bay at Highway 361 near Fin and Feather, did not have any cells. High cell concentrations were found inside the Corpus Christi marina, where the water was clear enough to see dead mullet sitting on the bottom. Visible bloom was seen along most of the Ocean Drive shoreline. DSHS will collect samples again early next week.

January 6, 2010

Very low concentrations of Karenia brevis have once again been detected by the Imaging Flow CytoBot at Port Aransas. Analysis has been done on the water samples collected from last week’s fish kill in the Corpus Christi Inner Harbor. Five samples were collected, from Viola Turning Basin, the navigation lift bridge, Avery Turning Basin, the mouth of the harbor and Tule Basin; all samples had moderate to high concentrations of cells.

December 31, 2009

The TAMU-CC Center for Coastal Studies collected water samples yesterday from Corpus Christi Bay. Cell concentration analysis is pending. The CCS reported aerosols, along with numerous comb jellies, all along the Ocean Drive shoreline, from Cole Park to the naval air station. Old dead mullet were also seen near the naval air station.

TPWD investigated a relatively large fish kill within the Corpus Christi Inner Harbor, stretching for approximately 6 miles from the Avery Turning Basin to the end of the channel at Viola Turning Basin. Water samples were collected from five locations throughout the length of the kill and contained varying concentrations of K. brevis cells. The dead fish consisted mostly of striped mullet, along with ladyfish (skipjack), Atlantic moonfish and black drum.

December 30, 2009

TPWD received a report this morning of dead fish in the Corpus Christi inner harbor. Biologists are investigating and suspect red tide to be the cause of the fish kill. TDSHS staff saw patches of discolored water yesterday in the Cole Park area of Corpus Christi Bay. Recent samples collected by TAMU’s Imaging Flow CytoBot at Port Aransas had not contained any Karenia brevis cells, but low levels of cells were detected today.

December 29, 2009

TPWD has received no reports of dead fish or aerosols from the Corpus Christi area in the last week. Biologists will resume sampling on Wednesday, December 30, taking water samples from the Blind Oso bridge, Ropes Park and Cole Park.

Padre Island National Seashore has rescinded its ban on dogs in the park. However, park authorities strongly recommend that visitors keep pets from eating dead fish or other marine life on the beaches to reduce the risk of illness.

December 22, 2009

The Imaging Flow CytoBot continues to record low concentrations of Karenia brevis coming through the pass at Port Aransas. TPWD Coastal Fisheries staff were out on Corpus Christi Bay yesterday and saw discolored water stretching from the Naval Air Station to Cole Park.

No impacts have been reported from South Padre Island in recent days.

December 21, 2009

Crews from the City of Corpus Christi collected 60 bags of dead fish (mostly mullet) along the Cole Park shoreline that had washed in due to the red tide.

December 18, 2009

This week began with no reports of red tide-related fish kills. By Thursday, dead mullet had begun to be seen at locations around Corpus Christi Bay, including the Texas State Aquarium, Ropes Park and Cole Park. High cell concentrations were found in the water near the Aquarium.

South Padre Island has seen a decline in cell counts recently. No cells were seen in the water samples collected Wednesday from the Queen Isabella causeway at Port Isabel or the gulf beach at the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab. Low cell concentrations were found inside Brazos-Santiago Pass.

December 15, 2009

Red tide continues to kill fish in Corpus Christi Bay. Birds were seen feeding today in front of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and dead mullet were found near the Texas State Aquarium. Low concentrations of red tide cells were found over the weekend at the Port Aransas jetties by TAMU’s Imaging Flow CytoBot.

UT-Pan American and Texas Sea Grant staff have been conducting daily red tide monitoring around the South Padre Island area. The past four days’ efforts have found consistent low cell counts at their three sampling sites: the Queen Isabella Causeway at Port Isabel, inside Brazos-Santiago Pass, and the gulf beach in front of the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab.

No aerosol effects have been reported from anywhere along the Texas coast.

December 11, 2009

Cell counts in the bays have once again begun to rise after being on the decline in recent weeks. The Texas Department of State Health Services continues to monitor oyster beds in the wake of the red tide. On Thursday, December 10, DSHS staff collected samples from the following locations around Corpus Christi Bay: Indian Point Pier, Ingleside Cove, La Quinta Channel, Island Mooring Channel, Point of Mustang, Shamrock Cove, the mouth of Oso Bay and the Corpus Christi marina. Visible bloom was found along the entire length of Ocean Drive. Each sampling location had higher cell counts than were found on the previous sampling date, with the highest concentrations found in the Corpus Christi Marina.

Cell counts also increased around South Padre Island, with low levels found today inside Brazos-Santiago Pass and moderate levels at the Queen Isabella causeway. No cells were found on the gulf beach at Isla Blanca Park.

December 9, 2009

Padre Island National Seashore officials have recommended that visitors do not bring their dogs to the park until further notice. Coyotes and dogs have recently become sick and/or died, possibly caused by brevetoxin accumulation from eating fish that had washed up on the beach from the red tide. More information is available on the PINS website.

Red tide has once again begun killing fish in the Corpus Christi area. Biologists investigated a fish kill today in Rincon Channel, off of Nueces Bay, that was comprised mostly of bay anchovy. Water samples confirmed K. brevis as the cause.

A second red tide-related kill, consisting mostly of striped mullet, occurred along Indian Point in Corpus Christi Bay. County workers performing maintenance on the pier reported the typical irritations associated with red tide.

Very low concentrations of K. brevis cells continue to be found around the South Padre Island area.

December 8, 2009

Red tide monitoring continues around South Padre Island. No fish kills have been seen in recent days and water samples collected today contained very low concentrations of red tide cells.

December 7, 2009

Red tide cells continue to be found in water samples collected at Port Aransas by TAMU’s Imaging Flow CytoBot. A fish kill was reported in the area of Wilson's cut and is under investigation to determine whether it is related to the red tide.

Further south, water samples were collected from around the South Padre Island area over the weekend and again Monday. Very low cell counts were found inside Brazos-Santiago Pass and inside the Laguna Madre at the west end of the causeway. No cells were found on the gulf beach at Isla Blanca Park near the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab.

December 3, 2009

A TPWD biologist rode along in a Coast Guard aircraft this morning to get an aerial view of the red tide bloom. The Gulf of Mexico looked clear of any discolored water or evidence of red tide except for some extremely small patches of discolored foam along the 40 to 50 mile marker area of Padre Island National Seashore. The shorelines of Corpus Christi Bay and Nueces Bay looked clear of any bloom discoloration. Likewise, the Lower Laguna Madre from Mansfield Pass to Port Mansfield was clear of any discoloration. Some streaking was observed just south of the Old Bridge in Port Isabel. No discoloration was observed along the shoreline between Laguna Vista and Port Isabel.

The Texas Department of State Health Services continues to monitor the oyster reefs in the wake of the red tide. Yesterday crews traveled out of Port Aransas approximately one mile into the Gulf of Mexico during the outgoing tide and found no K. brevis cells present in their sample. Low cell concentrations were found at the UTMSI pier, portions of Redfish Bay and Corpus Christi Bay, and at Island Mooring. No cells were present at the lighthouse on into Aransas Bay or in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Redfish Bay. Salinities have dropped significantly, ranging from 23 to 25 ppt.

Moderate cell concentrations were found today at Brazos-Santiago Pass. No cells were found on the Gulf beach near the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab.

December 2, 2009

Staff of the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab and Texas AgriLife Extension collected water samples around South Padre Island today. No aerosols were reported at any of the sites. Low numbers of red tide cells were found at the west end of the Queen Isabella Causeway and the north jetty of Brazos-Santiago Pass. No cells were found in water collected from the beach in front of the Coastal Studies Lab, Beach Access 5 or Beach Access 6.

Today’s overflight has been postponed due to weather.

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) website now has an Imaging Flow CytoBot Phytoplankton Gallery. The site features archived and current images as well as information about the study site and the CytoBot.

December 1, 2009

Though no new dead fish have been reported from South Padre Island, red tide cells continue to be found in samples taken from the Brazos-Santiago Pass and the gulf beach near Sandpiper Pavilion.

November 30, 2009

The red tide bloom persists along South Padre Island area beaches. Cell counts have risen and fallen repeatedly in recent weeks, but the bloom has not subsided. Fresh dead fish were reported in the Brownsville Ship Channel on Friday, but upon investigation only old dead fish were found.

Biologists are hopeful that recent rains will begin to dissipate the bloom in the Corpus Christi area.

November 25, 2009

Reports along the Gulf beach continue to come in from South Padre Island. Aerosol irritation have been reported fro Access Road 6 south to Brazos Santiago Pass. An ongoing fish kill has been reported along the affected area dominated by striped mullet.

Patches of discolored water along the Corpus Christi shoreline is confirmed to be Red Tide. A continual near shore patch was observed from the breakwaters of the Corpus Christi Marina to Ropes Park, extending offshore to Swatner Park. Another near shore patch was observed in Corpus Christi Bay along the TAMU-CC shoreline and confluence of Oso Bay. Light aerosol irritation was observed at Ropes Park and TAMU-CC. One Small fish kill was observed at Ropes Park dominated by striped mullet.

Reports of fish kills associated with red tide continue to be investigated in the Lower Laguna Madre. Reports include kills near the East cut of Mansfield Pass, the western shoreline near the land cut, the southern shoreline from Holiday beach to Laguna vista. All kills in the Lower Laguna Madre continue to be dominated by striped mullet, followed by hardhead catfish.

November 23, 2009

Red tide was observed along the northern shore of Nueces Bay approximately 3 miles west on the Portland Causeway near Corpus Christi.

An area of discolored water was observed along the shoreline of Corpus Christi from the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to Dodridge Park, and the mouth of Oso Bay into Corpus Christi Bay. TPWD biologists will be collecting samples to determine if the discolored water in red tide. No fish kills were observed.

Light aerosol is present on South Padre Island from the Brazos Santiago Pass to Access Road 6. A fish kill was observed along the shoreline consisting of mullet, ladyfish, hardhead catfish, YOY sandtrout, and crabs started washing ashore this morning.

Fish kills attributed to red tide in the Lower Laguna Madre included a small kill located along the shoreline from landcut south to Port Mansfield. Larger fishkill consisting mainly of large stripped mullet was investigated 5 miles south of Port Mansfield. No discolored water reported for this area, however light aerosol was experience briefly at one location.

November 20, 2009

TPWD has received a report this morning of dead mullet washing up along the beaches of South Padre Island. Biologists will investigate. Water samples collected yesterday from the Brazos-Santiago Pass and the west end of the Queen Isabella Causeway contained low levels of cells. Moderate to high levels of cells were found in samples collected along the gulf beaches of Isla Blanca Park and those beaches north of town near access roads 5 and 6. On Wednesday, red tide cells were found along the south shore of Bahia Grande, at the Port of Brownsville boat ramp and in the Brownsville Ship Channel.

November 18, 2009

Red tide continues to be found at two locations on the Texas coast: Corpus Christi Bay and the South Padre Island area. TPWD has received no recent reports of impacts to gulf beaches with the exception of those near South Padre Island and Boca Chica.

A band of red tide approximately 150 yards wide was observed along the south shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay today. In addition, the Texas General Land Office documented a fish kill occurring at the Corpus Christi Inner Harbor. Gulf toadfish were the most abundant species found, along with lookdown, grunt, pinfish, hardhead hatfish, snapper, moonfish, and mullet. Water samples confirmed relatively high concentrations of red tide cells.

Though cell counts are again on the rise, no complaints of aerosol were received today from the Lower Laguna Madre and South Padre Island areas. However, discolored water and a large fish kill were found at the end of the Brownsville ship channel by a Texas Sea Grant biologist. The dead fish were not fresh and are thought to have been dead for 2-3 days. Red tide cells were found in water samples collected from the area of the fish kill.

November 17, 2009

TAMU's Imaging Flow CytoBot continues to record low numbers of cells at the Port Aransas jetties. No fish kills or aerosols have been reported to TPWD from the Port Aransas area.

Four sites around the South Padre Island area were sampled yesterday. Low concentrations of Karenia brevis cells were found at the west end of the Queen Isabella Causeway, the north side of Brazos-Santiago Pass and Isla Blanca Park near the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab. Higher concentrations were sound along the south shore of Bahia Grande.

November 16, 2009

TPWD investigated a report of dead fish in Oso Bay on Monday. Initial indications were that the fish had been blown in from Corpus Christi Bay. No discolored water or aerosols were reported from the Ocean Drive area today.

A new fish kill consisting of mostly 10- to 14-inch mullet occurred along Boca Chica beach today. Fish densities on the beach, along with red tide cell concentrations, are highest near the south side of Brazos-Santiago Pass and decrease as you move south past Highway 4. High concentrations of red tide cells were also found at the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab in Isla Blanca Park on South Padre Island. Lower cell concentrations were found at the Isla Blanca Park boat ramp and the north side of the Brazos-Santiago Pass.

November 13, 2009

Moderate cell counts persist around the town of South Padre Island up to beach access road 5. Slight aerosols were detected along the gulf beach near beach access 6, but no dead fish were seen washing in around South Padre Island.

Dead fish and dark patches of red tide bloom had been seen earlier this week around Corpus Christi Bay. However, no patches of red tide or dead fish were observed today in the Oso and Corpus Christi Bay areas. Abundances of cabbagehead jellyfish are being found along the gulf beaches out to the third sandbar and moon jellies are prevalent in the bay near Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

Padre Island National Seashore staff traveled the entire length of the island on Thursday, finding clear water all along the gulf beaches and no aerosols or dead fish.

TPWD is investigating a suspected red tide-related fish kill in the Port Mansfield marina comprised overwhelmingly of striped mullet; hardhead catfish, gafftopsail catfish and sheepshead were also found along with slight aerosols.

Very low cell counts continue to be found by the Imaging Flow CytoBot at the UTMSI pier in Port Aransas.

November 10, 2009

Water samples collected along the gulf beaches of South Padre Island on Monday contained low to moderate numbers of red tide cells.

TPWD biologists participated in a coastal overflight on Tuesday, flying from the Matagorda jetties to the Texas-Mexico border. No visible red tide was found along the gulf beaches from Matagorda Island, San Jose Island or Mustang Island. Patches and streaks were visible along northern Padre Island, from Bob Hall Pier at north Padre Island to Andy Bowie Park at South Padre Island. The heaviest patches were observed along the Big Shell portion of the island.

Patches of red tide were also seen in Corpus Christi Bay, especially from the gates of Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi to TAMU-CC and into Oso Bay. Streaks of red tide were found in the Corpus Christi Marina, where an unformed fish kill was also reported.

Birds were seen feeding along Ocean Drive this afternoon, from the Swantner Park area to TAMU-CC. Dead fish were reported from Corpus Christi Bay, mostly bay anchovy, hardhead catfish and gafftopsail catfish.

Streaks of red tide were found in the lower Laguna Madre near Laguna Vista and Port Isabel, South Bay, and the Brownsville Ship Channel.

November 9, 2009

There have been no reports of new fish kills or aerosols along Port Aransas to Mustang Island State Park.

The Red Tide bloom in the Corpus Christi Bay resulted in fresh dead fish washing onto the beach Friday. Water samples collected in the bay showed very high cell count levels. The aerosol levels however, are not reported to be high and there have been no new fish kills over the weekend. Due to a front that came in Sunday the Red Tide was pushed further south and can now be seen in Oso Bay.

Cell count levels taken for Isla Blanca Park were low on Saturday but were reported in the moderate range this afternoon. Cell counts for Brazos Santiago Pass, however were reported in the moderate range on Saturday and have dropped to very low levels by this afternoon. Cell count levels taken at the UTPA Coastal Studies Lab have remained in the moderate range throughout the weekend. And cell count levels from the South Padre Island Beach Access Road #5 to 6 continue to fluctuate between moderate to high levels.

November 6, 2009

There are still reports of Red Tide in the Corpus Christi Bay area.

Cell count levels for Port A were reported yesterday to be very low but still present.

Reports from earlier this morning indicated that there were no new fish kills on South Padre Island or the Lower Laguna Madre. Cell counts taken between Access Roads #5 and 6 were in the moderate range. Light to moderate aerosols were reported from Brazos Santiago Pass to Access Road 6. Cell counts taken at Brazos Santiago Pass on the north side were low. However, cell counts taken at the UTPA Coastal Studies Lab were still very high.

A report came in earlier today that indicated Red Tide has been seen for the first time in the San Fernando District of Mexico. Our translation suggested that cell count levels were very high for this area and there was an associated fish kill.

November 5, 2009

Today there were reports of a fish kill in Corpus Christi Bay along the shoreline from Oleander Point to Cole Park. The fish kill was dominated by bay anchovy around 1 to 2 inches in length and also included hardhead catfish and needlefish. Red Tide was reported to be visible on Peoples Street and around G-H Piers to Landry’s. Shrimp boats also reported seeing Red Tide along the bulkhead to the Federal Courthouse and along Shoreline at about 20 to 30 feet out. Red Tide was also reported to be along the shoreline in the south basin from Old Coliseum to the Haulout area from the bulk to about 50 feet out into the water. A very small amount of Red Tide was visible between Cooper Ally and Lawrence St. So far no eye irritation has been reported.

Yesterday the Town of South Padre Island reported fresh dead finger mullet washing ashore within the city limits. There was a rough estimate of 10 to 15 individuals every 10 yards. Light aerosols and minor stretching were also reported. As of today there are no new fish kills that have been reported along the beaches of South Padre Island.

Cell counts were at moderate levels off the south shore of Bahia Grande and red streaks could be seen about 200 miles from the shoreline. Cell counts taken today at Isla Blanca Park boat ramp were in the moderate to high range. Cell counts taken on Brazos Santiago Pass (north side) were at moderate levels, as were cell count levels for Brigepoint.

Cell counts taken at the UTPA Coastal Studies Lab, The Palms, and La Quinta were at high to very high levels and cell counts levels between South Padre Island Beach Access road #5 and #6 ranged from moderate to very high.

There is an overflight scheduled for tomorrow with the Coast Guard. Areas of interest will include the gulf passes of Aransas Pass, Packery Channel, Mansfield Pass and Brazos Santiago, the gulf shores from Cedar Bayou to the U.S./Mexico Border, Corpus Christi Bay and the Lower Laguna Madre.

November 3, 2009

Reports from this past Saturday, October 31st, indicated that dozens of fresh dead fish (jacks) were washing ashore around the 20 to 40 mile markers on Padre Island National Seashore and high aerosol levels persisted.

For areas further north to Bob Hall and Packery Channel there was clear surf out to the second sandbar with no noticeable aerosols. Fishing was reported to have picked up considerably with large amounts of bait fish in the water.

Reports from yesterday afternoon indicate that fresh dead fish (finger mullets and ladyfish) were washing ashore at a density of approximately 10 fish per 100 yards, and there were light aerosols between access roads 5 and 6 on South Padre Island. Water samples collected around the town of South Padre indicated the presence of Red Tide from 6 miles north of the Brazos Santiago Pass to Access road 4 on Boca Chica. Water discoloration and aerosols were also reported in the Brownsville Ship Channel.

Currently there are no cell count levels to report for water samples taken today around South Padre Island, however aerosols are reported to be severe and the surf water is discolored along the Island and fresh dead fish are washing ashore.

Water samples collected at Port A pier returned very low cell counts for K. brevis.

November 2, 2009

Cell counts were taken on Saturday, October 31, at the west end of Queen Isabella Causeway, Brazos Santiago Pass, and at UTPA Coastal Studies Lab. All counts were in the moderate range.

There were no significant aerosol effects reported for South Padre Island, possibly due to a slight offshore wind this past Saturday, and no report on any new dead fish washing ashore.

Cell counts taken today, November 2, at Bridgepoint and surrounding areas, were very low. Cell counts from Boca Chica, however, were still very high.

October 30, 2009

Cell counts from late yesterday afternoon showed that levels of Karenia brevis were very high along South Padre Island beach access roads 5 and 6, Brigepoint, Brazos Pass along the north side and at the Isla Blanca boat ramp. Low to moderate levels of cells was reported along the South Bay and at the west end of the Q.I.M. Causeway. Cell counts taken late yesterday afternoon from Access Road 2A and at Bob Hall Pier on Padre Island were very high.

As of today no fresh dead fish have washed onto the shore along Mustang Island or the portion of North Padre Island from PINS boarder north to Packery Channel. Reports from Port Aransas suggest the effects of the aerosols are decreasing.

The Coast Guard overflight for this Saturday has been cancelled and the schedule for Sunday and Monday remain unsure.

Red Tide Update 10/29/09

Reports from Corpus Christi and Aransas Bay are suggesting that no Red Tide is evident in those bays. Water samples from Aransas Bay show no cell counts of Karenia brevis.

Mustang Island State Park reports that no dead fish have washed up onto the beach today. The surf is running high and aerosols are very prevalent in the air and causing a great deal of irritation.

Along Padre Island National Seashore there is a continuous line of red foam and the aerosols level is quite high. High winds and high tides made surveying the beach for new dead fish difficult but no fresh-dead fish were seen along Access Road 3, Bob Hall Pier, or North Beach Access Road at PINS.

Karenia brevis cells continue to be observed at Port A pier and cell counts are now in the moderate to high range.

October 28, 2009

TPWD has received a number of reports of successful fishing in the bays. The red tide has been affecting the gulf beaches, but for the most part has stayed out of the bays. Reports from the lower Laguna Madre indicate that fishing success remains consistent and that flounder and trout continue to be caught from the area. TPWD biologists observed people catching fish yesterday at Packery Channel and no aerosol effects.

TPWD photographer Chase Fountain rode along on yesterday’s overflight, capturing some impressive images of the bloom.

The Texas Department of State Health Services collected water samples from 18 sites around the Aransas Bay area yesterday, including the Port Aransas jetties, Lydia Ann Channel, Mud Island, the Rockport and Fulton harbors, Long Reef, Copano Bay, and the Port Aransas marina. All tested negative for red tide with the exception of the UT pier at the Port Aransas jetties, where low concentrations of cells were found.

Mustang Island State Park reports no dead fish washed up on their beaches today, but the strong southeasterly wind is causing rough surf and slight aerosols.

Low to moderate aerosols and varying concentrations of red tide cells continue to be found today around the South Padre Island area. Dead fish, mostly hardhead catfish, were washing ashore on the town’s beaches this morning. Dead fish were also seen floating in Brazos-Santiago Pass.

October 27, 2009 – additional information

The coastal overflight has been completed and found one continuous stretch of red tide bloom extending from southern Mustang Island into Mexico. The bloom is approximately one-half to one mile offshore. Fish kills were seen inside Mansfield Channel and Brazos-Santiago Pass with the dead fish extending out to approximately one mile offshore. It looks as if the fish are being pushed onto the beaches south of the passes.

Flying over the bays, biologists did find two areas of suspected bloom, at the mouth of the Corpus Christi Inner Harbor and in the Vinson Slough area of Aransas Bay.

Red tide cell concentrations were high today around the South Padre Island area.

Fishermen report success in the lower Laguna Madre near the mouth of the Arroyo Colorado.

October 27, 2009

The cool front brought some rain to the Corpus Christi area yesterday afternoon and evening. No fresh dead fish are on the beaches of Mustang Island State Park today and no aerosols are being reported.

After repeated weather delays, the coastal overflight is occurring today. On the first leg of the trip the plane flew from Corpus Christi to Matagorda Island. No signs of any bloom were seen off Matagorda Island but a suspicious patch was noted near Cedar Bayou. There is a patch of bloom occurring nearshore along the southern portion of San Jose Island near the jetty. No indications of offshore blooms were found in the area. The plane continued south for the second leg of the overflight and information for this portion will be posted after the flight is completed.

The town of South Padre Island reported no fresh dead fish along the beaches this morning.

Biologists visited Boca Chica today and found no fresh dead fish washing ashore; dead fish from last week’s fish kill are still on the beaches. No aerosol effects and no discolored water were found, though several birds were seen feeding offshore.

October 26, 2009

The coast is experiencing another cool front bringing winds and rain with it. Before the front, people were experiencing aerosols in Corpus Christi, South Padre Island, and Port Isabel. Dead fish continue to wash ashore along South Padre Island, mostly small ladyfish and hardheads. Before the front came through, cell counts were highest near Isla Blanca Park and generally dropped further north along the island.

Biologists will survey Boca Chica tomorrow.

October 22, 2009

Aerosols have decreased today at Mustang Island State Park south of Port Aransas. Last night’s high tide cleaned off the beaches a bit, pushing the dead fish from the shoreline back to the dunes. This morning fresh dead fish began washing ashore along the beaches, including finger mullet and small ladyfish; old dead fish that likely died offshore are washing in as well. A reddish foam can be seen in the surf but it is unclear whether this is due to the red tide.

Several sites were visited around the South Padre Island area today. Red tide cell counts remain relatively high from south of Port Mansfield to the beaches in town, where aerosols were noticeable this morning. Fresh dead fish continue to wash up along the beaches. Additional dead fish have been seen floating in the lower Laguna Madre north of the Queen Isabella Causeway, though it is possible that these were brought in with the tide through Brazos-Santiago Pass.

Aerosols were also noticeable at Port Isabel yesterday afternoon.

A cool front approaching the coast today will shift winds from the southeast to the north. This could lessen aerosol symptoms for beachgoers and possibly keep the red tide from moving any further north along the coast.

Reports from Mexico indicate that the red tide extends south to La Pesca, but not as far as Soto de Marina. The state of Tamaulipas has closed shellfish harvest from the Rio Grande to Tampico. The road to the beach at Playa Bagdad (Washington Beach) is closed to traffic because of the red tide.

October 21, 2009 afternoon

Texas Parks and Wildlife staff were out on the water today in Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield and South Padre Island.

The team working Corpus Christi Bay near Naval Air Station Corpus Christi reported throat irritation and coughing due to the red tide aerosols but saw no discolored water or dead fish.

A second team surveyed the back side of Mustang Island, Packery Channel, the JFK Causeway area and the Upper Laguna Madre along the Intracoastal Waterway. Aerosols were milder than they have been in recent days and no fresh dead fish were found in Packery Channel or along the back side of southern Mustang Island. Some of the homeowners’ canals along the Upper Laguna Madre and near the Whataburger on Padre Island were visited as well; aerosols were found but no fresh dead fish.

The third team was dispatched to the Port Mansfield area. Mild aerosols and stressed gizzard shad were encountered in the lower Laguna Madre near Port Mansfield. A small fish kill was investigated along the northern shore of Mansfield Pass that was comprised of hardhead catfish, mullet, spot croaker, and spotted seatrout. Densities were approximately 30 fish per 15 yards. Large numbers of birds feeding on the dead fish in the pass.

Moderate aerosols and cell counts continue to be found along the South Padre Island beaches and at the windsurfing flats. Many of the fish that were stranded yesterday along the beaches up to the Mansfield Pass appear to have been picked up by the tide and moved south. No fresh dead fish were found along the beaches today.

October 21, 2009

Rangers at Mustang Island State Park report no new fish washing ashore within the fee area. Rough surf is causing mild to moderate aerosols. Discolored water can be seen along the park’s beach, possibly also due to the surf conditions.

Aerosols persist at Padre Island National Seashore.

TPWD biologists are in the Port Mansfield area today investigating reports of fish kills.

Yesterday biologists surveyed a 9-mile portion of the South Padre Island beach north of access road 5 for dead fish. The fish kill was mostly comprised of anchovy, hardhead catfish, Atlantic bumper, Atlantic croaker, and mullet. Seen in smaller numbers were grouper, snapper, jack crevalle, snook and tarpon.

October 20, 2009

The flyover of the coast has been tentatively scheduled for later this week, weather permitting.

Water samples have been collected around the South Padre Island area. Cell counts were lowest near The Palms condos and La Quinta. Cell counts were higher along many of the town’s beaches, with the highest counts found at Isla Blanca Park and on the west end of the old causeway near Outdoor Resorts. Moderate aerosols persist.

Dead fish along the beaches from South Padre Island beach access 6 to the Mansfield jetties are making beach travel difficult. Beachgoers are urged to use caution and be careful of fish spines that might puncture tires. Most of the dead fish are Gulf menhaden, ladyfish and croaker, though large redfish have washed in as well. Shrimpers have reported seeing large numbers of dead fish floating in the Gulf of Mexico a few miles offshore of Mansfield Pass.

A Willacy County game warden confirmed reports of aerosols and dead fish (mostly mullet and hardhead catfish) inside the Laguna Madre yesterday, from the Mansfield Pass heading north along the eastern shoreline of the bay. Fewer numbers were seen along the eastern shoreline south of Mansfield Pass.

Padre Island National Seashore staff surveyed a portion of the beaches today and found clear water and few dead fish around the 4-mile mark. Concentrations of both aerosols and dead fish increased near the 6-mile mark and red foamy water was noted from the 7 to 9-mile marks. Beach driving was not difficult during low tide because most of the dead fish are pushed up high on the beach.

Water samples have been collected from around the Corpus Christi area yesterday and today by the Texas Department of State Health Services, Padre Island National Seashore, TAMU-CC Center for Coastal Studies and Texas Parks and Wildlife. All sites within Corpus Christi Bay, including the Ocean Drive area, the inner harbor, Ingleside and Indian Point, contained low concentrations of red tide cells. Samples collected from Packery Channel Park as well as the officer’s pier and the base marina at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi all contained low to moderate concentrations of red tide cells. Water samples from Padre Island National Seashore have not yet been analyzed.

Large numbers of seagulls were seen feeding this morning on Lake Padre (North Padre Island). Mild aerosols are still affecting the area, but biologists yesterday noted many people around the Packery Channel jetties surfing, fishing, snorkeling and sunbathing. Water clarity continues to improve at Packery Channel. The dead fish that had piled up along the inside of the jetties last week are now gone, likely having been pushed further into the channel or back out again with shifting winds. Dead fish continue to be reported from Packery Channel Park, and TPWD will investigate this fish kill tomorrow.

Aerosols were down this morning along Mustang Island, but returned this afternoon. TPWD biologists working from the northern boundary of the state park to Newport Pass Road report that the aerosols increased from mild to moderate during the afternoon. The fish kill investigation found large numbers of mullet, sooty eel, Gulf whiting, Atlantic bumper and ladyfish. Smaller concentrations of snapper, blue runner, searobins, and lined soles were seen as well.

Cell counts remain very low at the UTMSI pier in Port Aransas.

October 19, 2009 Afternoon

Water samples were collected today from the South Padre Island and Boca Chica areas. The highest cell counts were found along the beaches in town. Dark water was coming in through Brazos-Santiago Pass and fresh dead fish were visible in the Gulf. No dead fish have been seen in the lower Laguna Madre with the exception of a few old dead fish near Laguna Vista.

A caller reported numerous dead finger mullet coming in through Packery Channel earlier this afternoon, but that no discolored water was coming in and that he was feeling no aerosol effects.

October 19, 2009

This morning’s Coast Guard overflight has been tentatively rescheduled for tomorrow. Additional TPWD Kills and Spills Team staff are being pulled in to assist with fish kill assessments this week.

Biologists are investigating reports of dead fish at Boca Chica and along South Padre Island up to Port Mansfield. Dead fish have also been reported in South Bay, the lower Laguna Madre and inside Mansfield channel.

TPWD received reports over the weekend of mild aerosols around the Packery Channel jetties and dead fish in a canal at Padre Isles Country Club. Biologists plan to visit the Packery Channel area today.

Mustang Island State Park has begun clearing dead fish off their beaches, noting that no new fish washed in over the weekend. Staff have cleaned portions of the day use and camping areas so far. Mild aerosols persist along the state park beaches. People interested in visiting are encouraged to call the park at (361)749-5246 for the latest updates on beach conditions.

Cell counts at Port Aransas were low this morning and no aerosols are being reported from the area.

October 16, 2009

Cell counts at Port Aransas rose sharply Thursday afternoon but returned to low concentrations as of this morning. Aerosol effects around Port Aransas have decreased with the arrival of the cool front. TPWD continued assessing the Mustang Island fish kill this morning beginning near beach marker 53 and continuing to the jetties. Low densities of fish were seen, mostly Atlantic bumper, striped mullet and spot. Port Aransas city crews cleaned fish off the beaches this morning.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has begun collecting water samples prior to the opening of oyster season November 1. They visited 24 sites including the Rockport and Fulton harbors, Port Aransas and Corpus Christi marinas, and several sites within Corpus Christi and Aransas Bays. Low concentrations of red tide cells were found at the Port Aransas jetties and the confluence of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and Island Mooring Channel. DSHS staff report high salinities in the bays (30-37 ppt) even after the rains.

Discolored water and an accompanying fish kill have been reported in the Upper Laguna Madre, stretching for approximately a mile along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway south of the JFK Causeway. Pinfish, small mangrove snapper and hardheads were noted, along with many pelicans and gulls feeding on the dead fish. The TPWD CCA-AEP Marine Development Center fish hatchery located on the Upper Laguna Madre found low concentrations of cells Wednesday morning in their intake water but none during the evening.

Aerosols and dead fish were reported this morning at Packery Channel Park. Foaming was seen along the shoreline near the JFK causeway. It is uncertain whether the dead fish are being brought in through Packery Channel.

Padre Island National Seashore staff are traveling their beaches today, stopping every 10 miles to collect water samples and note the dead fish.

TPWD game wardens and biologists surveyed the beaches as well as the waters offshore of South Padre Island yesterday. They found no discolored water or dead fish and felt no aerosols. Offshore water samples contained moderate to high concentrations of red tide. Cameron County Extension had received a report on Wednesday of dead fish on Boca Chica at the south jetty but there was no sign of dead fish there yesterday.

TPWD plans to do another overflight Monday morning to see what, if any, effect the cool front has on the bloom.

October 15, 2009 afternoon

Today biologists surveyed the beaches from Packery Channel to the jetties of Port Aransas - large numbers of dead fish were washing ashore from packary channel to the northern boundary of Mustang Island State Park. Most of the dead fish were ladyfish, striped mullet, gulf menhaden and spot croaker. Spotted sea trout, stargazers and other species were seen in lower numbers. Small number of beachgoers were present, but few fishing.

North of the state park - dead fish became less abundant. Beaches at Port Aransas have very few dead fish on them today. There are many dead fish out in the surf that could make their way onto the beaches.

Dead fish are coming in through the pass at Packery Channel including mostly croaker, pinfish, and mullet along with other species.

Red tide aerosols are moderate from Packery Channel all the way to Port Aransas at the jetties.

TPWD is planning another overflight for early next week.

October 15, 2009

TPWD hitched a ride aboard a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter yesterday to get an aerial view of the red tide bloom. The helicopter flew from Mustang Island to Port Mansfield and confirmed that both the bloom and patches of dead fish stretch along that entire length of coastline. On the northern end, the bloom is fairly close to the beach, approximately one-quarter mile offshore. An extensive offshore bloom was seen near Yarborough Pass along with many large fish floating in the area.

Imagery taken by TAMU's Imaging Flow CytoBot at Port Aransas showed very low numbers of red tide cells yesterday. There have been no reports of aerosol or dead fish at Port Aransas.

Red Tide Update 10/14/09 afternoon

Cameron County game wardens working approximately 2 miles offshore of South Padre Island today report severe aerosol effects and many dead fish floating in the water.

Preliminary numbers from the Padre Island National Seashore fish kill indicate that the event is mostly comprised of mullet, Atlantic bumper and ladyfish (skipjack) with large redfish being seen as well. Fish were highly concentrated along the shoreline, numbering as high as 1000 fish in a 15-yard stretch.

Dead fish have also begun washing ashore in the Bob Hall Pier area, including ladyfish (skipjack), eels, and speckled trout. Discolored water can be seen out near the third sandbar.

Dead fish began washing ashore at Mustang Island State Park this afternoon. Aerosols were also reported. TPWD biologists will be on the beach Thursday morning to assess the fish kill.

Red tide cells have been found in water samples collected from Packery Channel and from Corpus Christi Bay at the marina. Samples were collected by the TAMU-Corpus Christi Center for Coastal Studies.

The U.S. Coast Guard allowed a TPWD biologist to ride along in one of their coastal overflights today in order to get an aerial view of the red tide bloom. Information gathered from this overflight will be posted as it becomes available.

October 14, 2009 morning

TPWD responded to two fish kills yesterday. The first was along South Padre Island that began near Brazos-Santiago Pass and extended north for approximately 17 miles. Densities of the dead fish are highest between beach access roads 5 and 6 at over 100 fish per mile. Aerosol was present all along the beaches. However, people fishing in the surf were catching whiting.

A second fish kill was reported along the length of Padre Island National Seashore down to approximately the 55-mile marker. Aerosol and discolored water accompanied the fish kill.

Biologists will continue their assessments of these two fish kills today and their findings will be posted as they become available.

Aerosol effects were also reported from Bob Hall Pier, but no dead fish were found there.

Staff at Mustang Island State Park report no dead fish or aerosol effects occurring there. Likewise, cell counts at Port Aransas remained low through Tuesday afternoon.

October 13, 2009

Higher concentrations of red tide cells were found in Monday’s water samples collected around the South Padre Island area. Light to moderate aerosol irritation has been reported from the area and dead fish began washing ashore yesterday afternoon. TPWD is assessing the fish kill, which so far looks to be comprised of ladyfish and hardhead catfish.

No cells were seen in this morning’s images taken by the Imaging Flow CytoBot at Port Aransas.

October 12, 2009

The Imaging Flow CytoBot detected elevated levels of red tide coming through the pass at Port Aransas over the weekend. Cell counts had dropped by this morning and the bloom was dominated by K. brevis, as opposed to last week when other Karenia species were present as well.

South Padre Island is once again experiencing aerosols. City staff collected 3 water samples and transported them to the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab for analysis.

October 9, 2009

The red tide bloom seems to have been transported north out of the South Padre Island area. TPWD received reports of aerosols yesterday from the Padre Island National Seashore, Packery Channel and Port Aransas. Water samples collected from around the Packery Channel jetties were found to contain low concentrations of Karenia brevis. TAMU’s Imaging Flow CytoBot detected low concentrations of Karenia brevis at the Port Aransas jetties as well. To date no fish kills have been reported in association with this event.

October 8, 2009

Water samples collected around the South Padre Island area yesterday and today contain very low cell counts and, in some areas, no cells. Mild irritation continues to be reported. To date no dead fish have been found in association with this bloom.

TPWD is following up on a report of eye irritation and discolored water at Packery Channel near Corpus Christi. Sample analysis is ongoing.

October 6, 2009

Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cameron County Marine Extension, UT-Pan American and Texas A&M University are working together to monitor the red tide event. Mild aerosol effects have been reported today north of Beach Access 6, becoming more noticeable as you head south into the town of South Padre Island. Low concentrations of Karenia brevis cells continue to be found along the beaches in town. Higher concentrations were found in samples collected 2.5 miles north of Beach Access 6 and at Brazos-Santiago Pass. It is not unusual for red tides to become concentrated in protected areas such as jetties and marinas.

Discolored water has been observed in the lower Laguna Madre north of the causeway. It is unclear at this time whether this is due to a bloom or to sediments being stirred up by winds.

Water samples were also collected yesterday afternoon along South Padre Island from the north end of town up to the Port Mansfield jetties. Moderate concentrations of K. brevis cells were found and beachgoers along that stretch reported mild aerosol.

October 5, 2009 - South Padre Island

On Sunday, October 4 TPWD received a report of beachgoers along South Padre Island experiencing respiratory irritation. Water samples were collected Monday morning by staff of the City of South Padre Island, Cameron County Marine Extension, and the UT-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab. Low concentrations of Karenia brevis were detected all along the gulf beach, from Brazos-Santiago Pass to the north end of town. No cells were found in the sample collected from the west end of the Queen Isabella Causeway. At this time no dead fish have been reported in association with this bloom.

Biologists will monitor this event closely. TPWD is collecting water samples from Boca Chica Beach this afternoon and more information will be circulated as it becomes available.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, scientists know little about how breathing the air near red tides or swimming in red tides may affect human health. People who are near the water during red tide may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. People with existing respiratory illness, such as asthma, may experience these symptoms more severely. If you have concerns or questions about human health effects of red tide or symptoms you are experiencing, consult a physician.

Although some travelers may be concerned with how the red tide may affect their vacation plans, there are miles of clean beaches to enjoy on the Texas coast.

To report sightings of red tide, call your local Texas Parks and Wildlife office (during business hours) or the TPWD 24-hour communications centers at 512-389-4848 or 281-842-8100.

September 21, 2009

Low concentrations of red tide cells have been found in water samples collected at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute pier in Port Aransas. Additional water samples collected from 3 locations in Corpus Christi Bay (Doddridge Park, Ropes Park, Cole Park), Packery Channel and Bob Hall Pier contained no red tide cells. Over the weekend dead fish (mullet, small jacks, needle gar, skip jack) were reported near the 12-mile mark of Padre Island National Seashore. Water samples were collected by PINS staff today and will be transported to TPWD for analysis. At this time it is not known if the reported fish kill is related to the cells coming ashore at Port Aransas. Biologists continue to monitor the situation.

January 20, 2009

Red tide has not caused any fish kills or respiratory irritation along the Texas coast since October 2006. Bays that were closed to shellfish harvesting due to red tide have reopened. Information about shellfish closures can be obtained by contacting the Seafood and Aquatic Life group of the TDSHS at (800) 685-0361.



Additional Information:

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services investigate reports of possible red tide along the coast and in the bays.

Three common signs of a red tide bloom are:

  • discolored water
  • dead fish
  • breathing difficulty.

From the Centers for Disease Control:
The human health effects associated with eating brevetoxin-tainted shellfish are well documented. However, scientists know little about how other types of environmental exposures to brevetoxin—such as breathing the air near red tides or swimming in red tides—may affect humans. Anecdotal evidence suggests that people who swim among brevetoxins or inhale brevetoxins dispersed in the air may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Additional evidence suggests that people with existing respiratory illness, such as asthma, may experience these symptoms more severely.

To report sightings of red tide during normal business hours, call your local TPWD office or Meridith Byrd at 361-983-1215. Outside of normal business hours you may call TPWD's 24-hour communications centers at 512-389-4848 (Austin) or 281-842-8100 (Houston.)

Although some travelers may be concerned with how the red tide may affect their vacation plans, there are miles of clean beaches to enjoy on the Texas coast. When making travel plans, heed the advice of the Texas Department of State Health Services : get the current facts and draw your own conclusions.

For more information about red tide and the latest updates, call the TPWD hotline at (800) 792-1112, select fishing, then select red tide.

Current information about shellfish closures can be obtained by contacting the Seafood Safety Division of the Texas Department of State Health Services at (800) 685-0361. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services investigate reports of possible red tide along the coast and in the bays.

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